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Monday, September 8, 2014

September Film Club


First, let me start by thanking all of you who came out to our Neo-noir Film Series (I believe some of you may have come to every single film!), that was awesome, you guys are awesome.  I wish every single week was like the film series, a new film every week, it would be spectacular, unfortunately that isn't how it goes.  But, enough gloominess, I have an announcement to make!  I come with news of a new film, (gasp!) that's right folks, you heard me correctly, this isn't a joke, this is the real deal!  On Thursday, Sept. 18th at 6:15pm, as something of a small tribute to Robin Williams, we will be watching Barry Levinson's excellent film: Good Morning Vietnam

Good Morning Vietnam is a 1987 American war comedy film written by Mitch Markowitz and directed by Barry Levinson.  Set in Saigon in 1965, during the Vietnam War, the film stars Robin Williams as a radio DJ on Armed Forces Radio Service, who proves hugely popular with the troops, but infuriates his superiors with what they call his "irreverent tendency".  The story is loosely based on the experiences of AFRS radio DJ Adrian Cronauer.  Most of Williams' radio broadcasts were improvised.  Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

The film holds an 89% "Certified Fresh Rating" on Rotten Tomatoes.  Roger Ebert awarded the film 4/4 stars saying,

 "Williams' best movies are the one where he is given a well-written character to play and held to the character by a strong director.  In his other movies, you can see him trying to do his stand-up act on the screen, trying to use comedy to conceal not only himself from the audience-but even his character.  The one-liners and ad-libs distance him from the material and from his fellow actors.  What is inspired about "Good Morning Vietnam" which contains far and away the best work Williams has ever done in a movie, is that his own tactics are turned against him.  The director, Barry Levinson, has created a character who is a stand-up comic, he's a fast talking disc jockey on Armed Forces Radio during the Vietnam War, directing a nonstop monologue at the microphone.  There is absolutely no biographical information about this character.  We don't know where he comes from, what he did before the war, whether he has ever been married, what his dreams are, what he's afraid of.  Everything in his world is reduced to material for his program.  But while he's assaulting the microphone, Levinson is doing something fairly subtle in the movie around him.  He has populated "Good Morning Vietnam" with a lot of character actors who are fairly complicated types, recognizably human, and with the aid of the script they set a trap for Williams.  His character is edged into a corner where he must have human emotions, or die."

Hope to see you there!

Here's the trailer:

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